Can I cuddle my cat when pregnant?

Cats and pregnant women

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The answer is Yes, but it needs explaining. You won’t get a toxoplasmosis infection from cuddling your cat in the usual way.


The question in the title is about being infected by toxoplasmosis caused by the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. Men and women with protective antibodies will probably be immune to infection. But you don’t know if you are immune. Or a mother might already be infected as around half the human adult population shows serological (serum and other bodily fluids) evidence of having been exposed in the past. The mother may pass it on to her offspring (congenital toxoplasmosis) but this is very rare.

“Prenatal infection may be responsible for abortion, stillbirths and unexplained perinatal deaths” (Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook). This is why some perhaps overly concerned mothers get rid of their cherished family cat when pregnant. But it need not happen.

“Cats only shed oocysts in their faeces for 10-14 days after their first exposure, and once passed, the oocysts only become infectious to people after sporulation which takes one to five days.”

Public Health Considerations

Regarding your cat: prevent him from roaming and hunting as it will eliminate acquiring the infection by consuming infected animals or ingesting oocysts.

Regarding the pregnant mother: get your son or husband to do the cat litter – maybe. One source of infection of toxoplasmosis is a cat’s faeces which may contain oocysts which can be ingested. The answer is to take precautions when cleaning your cat’s litter box (see a fuller list of precautions: Toxoplasmosis Information for pregnant women, which is a reproduction of the Cats Protection pdf file on the subject).

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Dispose of the waste carefully to avoid others coming into contact with it.
  • Clean and disinfect litter trays every 2 or 3 days using boiling water and 10% ammonia solution.
  • As you can get it from food: cook all fresh meat at a temperature of at least 150ºF and wash hands properly after handling raw meat. Clean kitchen surfaces that have made contact with raw meat.

To recap: you can cuddle your cat when you are pregnant but just take some precautions regarding the litter tray. Note: the image on this page is a modified version of the Cats Protection image on their handbook. Many thanks.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

6 thoughts on “Can I cuddle my cat when pregnant?”

  1. MichealBroadKillsHumans

    I sent your page to an online archiving service. You know, just in case someone ends-up suing you and you try to delete it after the fact, trying to claim you never posted this deadly pile of lies. It’ll still be too late for you. 🙂

    You can thank me later. LOL

  2. SNUGGLE, SNUGGLE, SNUGGLE!!! Keep the cat!

    Because there are so many options for keeping safe while pregnant with a cat, the thought of abandoning the cat should never enter your mind. Throughout the 1960s, my mom had 3 children with no bad side effects from cat waste. All her cats were indoor/outdoor cats. Dad didn’t clean the litter box. Same with myself.

    The cat shouldn’t be punished on a slim possibly for something the cat can’t control. Keeping the cat indoors should help prevent exposure to the disease.

    So, enjoy your pregnancy and your cat!

    Plus, snuggling with the cat will have beneficial side effects for you, your baby and the cat. She/he will love the baby as his/her own. Just don’t forget to continue to snuggle with the cat after the baby is born to avoid a jealous kitty. That can prove disastrous.

  3. MichealBroadKillsHumans

    Nice. You just condemned about 10,000 more women to killing their own child this coming year….remainder deleted as rude and irrational…(Admin)

    Note to this moron: F off and sober up.

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